'Waiting with hope'

Friday Reflection

11th December 2020

'Like children waiting for Santa Claus'

24 For in this hope we were saved.
   But hope that is seen
   is no hope at all.
   Who hopes for what
   they already have?
25 But if we hope for what
   we do not yet have,
   we wait for it patiently.

.... Romans 8:24,25

Waiting with hope
is very much a theme, at this time,
for many Christians.

We specifically celebrate
our waiting and wondering
in December, during
the season of Advent.

Like children waiting
for Santa Claus,
we celebrate our waiting
for the time when
Jesus will come again
by waiting to
celebrate his birth.

Do you remember being
a small child,
lying in bed on
Christmas Eve,
so anxious for
Christmas morning
that you could
hardly stand it?

It seemed like forever;
and Christmas Day
always came - finally.

As we wait for Christmas
to come again,
we know that no matter
how anxious we become,
we cannot force time
to move faster.

Christ will come
when it is God's will
for him to come;
we cannot make it
happen any faster.

We are like children
on Christmas Eve,
but now we have learned
that we must simply wait,
relying for comfort
on our knowledge
that the day will come.

Is there something
you are waiting for?

A desire close
to your heart
that you want fulfilled?

Perhaps it's a job,
a relationship,
or a new housing situation.

Maybe you've hit
a dead end in your efforts,
and you've been praying
that God will provide a
new opportunity,
an open door,
an open window...anything.

Maybe you're waiting
for a change in our world.

Every day, heavy news rolls in
from around the globe
with stories of violence,
injustice, deceit, pain,
and brokenness.

Where are the answers
to these problems?

Maybe you've lifted up
frustrated prayers to God,
"How long will this continue?"

The people of Israel
were very familiar with
the concept of waiting.

At the time of Jesus' birth,
they had been waiting
centuries for
their promised Messiah.

As the Israelites waited
with expectation long ago,
so we look forward to
when our Messiah will return,
as he promised in Luke 21:27-28:

"And then they will see
 the Son of Man coming
 in a cloud with power
 and great glory.

 Now when these things
 begin to take place,
 straighten up and
 raise your heads,
 because your
 redemption is near."

The Christian theologian
Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes in
God is in the Manger,

"The Advent season is
 a season of waiting,
 but our whole life is
 an Advent season,
 that is,
 a season of waiting
 for the last Advent,
 for the time when there will be
 a new heaven and a new earth."